Title

The role of political environment and the adoption of new information technology for citizen participation and communication by United States municipal government

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Public Administration

Keywords

E-government, Korea, Political environment, Information technology, Citizen participation, Communication

Subject Categories

Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The use of new ICTs such as the World Wide Web and email as channels of citizen participation and communication with government is thought to facilitate greater citizen participation in public affairs, make government bureaucracy more transparent and accountable to citizens, and recover citizens' trust in government. Although the new ICTs suggest such potential, this paper proposes that the adoption of such communication applications is largely contingent upon the various political characteristics surrounding government bureaucracy. The adoption is viewed as an outcome of government reaction to its environment where various political characteristics in the environment determine the level of demand and need for e-government applications that enable direct online communication between citizens and the government, and various political characteristics in the adopting government influence the way the government reacts to such demand. Using survey data from International City/County Management Association and Census, this paper examines how various political factors influence the adoption of e-government applications that provide online channels of communication between citizens and the government. Findings include: political nature of individual e-government applications induce different political factors to influence the adoption; economic forces continue to play a significant role on the adoption; well-established traditional means of citizen participation (political parties and more accessible city council) tend to reduce the likelihood of adoption; mayors tend to identify with the views of non-political officials who favors applications that require the least amount of workload, while disliking ones that may increase it; and lastly, a pattern of adoption was identified in which e-government applications that require the least amount of organizational resources and political implications are preferred, while applications that require greater levels of organizational commitment and political implications are avoided.

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